Dead RES baby turtle

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kls1981
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I got my turtle for Valentines Day this year. We went out and spent over 200 bucks on the best tank supplies,kept the water between 78-82 degrees,feed him daily,changed his water,gave him a basking spot..etc. One day I noticed he just was not swimming,he stayed in the same spot all day and only swam if I moved him. When he walked it was almost as if he was limping...then...I turned him over and there was a small red line,like a broken blood vessel. After I noticed this I paid attention to him as if he were a sick human child....This has been going on for 2 weeks now,fnallythis mrning I see he is dead. The bottom of his shell is covered with those red lines. Can you tell me what happened please?.....Also-very imprtant note-his shell was/is sooooo very bendable and soft.
Thank you
deesygirl
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I am sorry you lost your baby.

It sounds like an advanced case of Metabolic bone disease. Also known as Soft Shell. The first signs are a soft shell. It develops from a lack of calcium and or vitD3. They also need a uv bulb in order to process the calcium. What people do not often realise is that along with a soft shell the turtle also suffers from a weakening skeletal structure. The first sign in avanced stage MBD is an inability to support themselves on the hind legs. I know this sounds strange but if you have ever noticed a turtle at the side of the tank begging for food, you see them support themselves in this manner. When caught early it is easier to reverse the effects. Increase in calcium and vitd3, longer times under a uv (5%) bulb. Often in more advanced cases they need to be seen by a vet. They will administer a calcium gluconate injection.
Take heart, you did nothing wrong. Your baby was already ill when you got him. Not knowing what you are looking at it was the problem. (My first RES died from this as well) It is important when chosing a baby RES to look for signs of illness. Some pet stores sell a small Care book on RES by Phillippe de Vosjoli. It is published by Advanced Vivarium Systems. It has alot of very good information. Including how to check for a healthy baby.
One more thing to remember, 90% of RES babies do not survive. It can be depressing, however start with a healthy baby and you have a great chance of having a healthy RES adult.
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